Trip to G League not in forecast for Bulls guard Coby White
Coach Billy Donovan said White is still searching for his rhythm, but that search won’t take place in the G League with the Windy City Bulls. The hope is to keep getting him minutes despite the lack of practice time.
A stint with the Windy City Bulls of the G League isn’t on the table for Bulls guard Coby White.
Not yet, at least.
Coach Billy Donovan said he, his staff and White have things to figure out before they explore that.
The hope is that they won’t have to after White scored 14 points in 21 minutes off the bench Sunday against the Knicks, seemingly finding what had been missing since his return from shoulder surgery last week against the Lakers.
‘‘I haven’t really talked to him about that,’’ Donovan said Sunday, when he was asked about using the G League to get White more practice time and in-game minutes. ‘‘The way our schedule is set up now, it’s pretty hard. The West Coast trip and then the back-to-back, we haven’t had any practice time. I think he does need some of that, quite honestly.’’
White entered the game against the Knicks getting just less than 11 minutes of playing time a game. He had been 1-for-11 from the field, had looked completely out of rhythm and obviously was trying to find his way with teammates he mostly never even practiced with.
‘‘One of the things that’s really not been talked about very much is the fact that the only guy on the court that [White] ever played with last year is Zach LaVine,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘He’s not played with another person on our team.
‘‘He’s trying to figure out his role and how he can play, all those types of things. He wants to do the right thing . . . but I think he’s been out of sorts a little bit, which I fully anticipated with the amount of time he’s missed.’’
White was on the shelf for almost five months after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Unfortunately for him, he returned to the Bulls in the heat of a November schedule that has limited the amount of practice time they can get for him.
And even when they have practiced or had a shootaround, Donovan hasn’t had the luxury of making the scrimmages overly physical, especially with the number of games the Bulls have played recently.
That has left it up to White to try to get ready the best he can and has left Donovan looking to get him some minutes without jeopardizing victories.
‘‘It’s going to be however many times he’s worked out, how many times he’s run up and down the floor, how many times he’s shot the ball, how many times he’s tried to guard . . . you know, it’s just different when he’s in an NBA game,’’ Donovan said.
‘‘I was not expecting, with him being out for six months . . . to all of a sudden, ‘Whoa, he’s back!’ I just don’t think that’s realistic. But I do have confidence that he’ll find his way back because of who he is in terms of his character.’’
In the works?
Few rosters in the NBA can put the number of high-flyers on the court the Bulls can. LaVine is a two-time dunk champion, Derrick Jones Jr. has won the contest once and Javonte Green and Lonzo Ball are terrific athletes, too.
So when is an in-house dunk contest happening?
‘‘It feels like it’s coming soon,’’ Green said.
Green said he’s all-in on competing, provided he can afford the entry fee and wager.